Minutes 18 November 2019 - NPC

PRESENT: Councillors: J Evans (Chairman), J Siddall, Mrs J Clayton, Mrs A White, P McNeill,D Newsam, A Henderson, Mrs C Appleton, P Jenkinson, C Higham
In attendance: Mrs D Locker (Clerk). 5 members of the public
Councillors not present:  Cllr J Radcliffe
Commencing at 7.30pm
Public Forum
The Chairman welcomed those in attendance and announced that before opening the meeting, members of the public had an opportunity to address the Parish Council, on any matter, during the 15 minutes public session. He reminded all present that a long serving Councillor – John Downs, had recently submitted his resignation, having stepped down following 28 years’ service to the Council and residents. He thanked Mr Downs for all of the hard work he had put in over the years, having served many roles during his term in Council. The Chairman proceeded to hand over a small token of appreciation.  Mr Downs expressed his thanks and conveyed that it had been his privilege to serve the Parish.  
A resident requested to be heard in respect of agenda items 7(g) & 7(h).  The Chairman offered him an opportunity to speak later when the agenda items were being discussed, which was accepted.  
The Clerk advised no update reports had been received from the Police, Cllr Giles McNeill (WLDC) or Cllr Mrs Brockway (LCC).
District Councillor Report
Councillor Mrs White (WLDC) advised:
  • Her full report had already been circulated;
  • She had attended a breakfast meeting about £6m funding received for further development of teaching facilities at the Riseholme College site.  A further £2m of funding had been agreed by Bishop Burton College for provision of student and details about how the two Colleges are working together, will follow;
  • WLDC Overview & Scrutiny Committee are inviting various agencies to attend to discuss the flooding issues at Nettleham and Scotter.
The Chairman requested feedback about whether there had been any discussions about plans for new housing development within the Riseholme College proposals.  Cllr Mrs White advised none had been discussed.
The Parish Council Meeting opened at 7.38pm
134/19. To resolve and recieve apologies and accept reasons for absence. Apologies received from Cllr J Radcliffe.  Also from Cllrs Mrs Brockway (LCC) & G McNeill (WLDC)
135/19. Disclosure of interests in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act in accordance with the requirements of the Localism Act 2011 and to consider any requests for dispensations
Declarations of interests were received from: Cllr Mrs Clayton for items 7(g) & 7(h) & 10 (as a Trustee of the Village Hall Committee and hirer of the Old School), from Cllr Siddall for items 7(g) & 7(h) & 10 (as a Trustee of the Village Hall Committee) and from Cllr Henderson for item 6(a)(1).
136/19. Notes of the Parish Council meeting held on 15 October 2019 to be approved as the minutes
It was proposed, seconded and resolved that the notes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 15 October 2019 be approved as a correct record and be signed by the Chairman.Unanimous 
137/19. Clerks report on matters outstanding (information only)
The Clerk updated the Parish Council on the following matters:
  • The notice received from WLDC in respect of the Councillor vacancy, following the resignation submitted by Cllr Downs, had been displayed on Council notice boards, the website and Facebook.  If by 26/11/19 no request to hold an election is received, the vacancy will be advertised to be filled, by Co-option.
  • Following agreement, at the meeting of the Parish Council on 15/10/19, to publish information about development of a Community Speed Watch (CSW) initiative, to date 2 persons had expressed an interest in becoming CSW volunteers.  The Clerk reported that she had already been in discussions with the Council’s insurers who advised that Council will need to agree and oversee any work undertaken by volunteers, to enable them to be covered by the Council’s insurance policy.  An example of how this could operate was put forward, by the insurers e.g. to set-up a Working Group to develop proposals/plan for work to be carried out, by volunteers, but which in turn would then need to be agreed and overseen, by the Council.
  • The final version of the Dog Walking Guide and map, relating to Parish Council land, had been completed, and sent for inclusion in the December edition of the Nettleham Matters publication; it will also be posted onto the Parish Council website and Facebook sites, shortly.
  • Following agreement, by Council, the order to undertake an additional cut to grassed areas, had been placed with the Council’s contractor.
138/19.  Financial matters 
a) To Ratify Payments made – 01/10/19 – 31/10/19
It was proposed, seconded and resolved that the Council duly ratify the payments made (shown as Appendix 1).Unanimous
b) To consider the Income & Expenditure information & balances in bank accounts at 31/10/19
The contents of the Income & Expenditure report were noted.  The Vice-Chairman checked the summary against copies of the bank statements and duly signed them as a true statement of monies held, in the Council’s bank accounts.
c) To ratify the set-up of new monthly Direct Debit to NEST pensions
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to ratify the set-up of the new Direct Debit for payments to NEST pensions. Unanimous
d) Grant application - Nettleham Tennis Club – to assist with replacement to LED floodlight bulbs
During discussions, it was raised that the tennis club had worked hard to encourage new members to engage in tennis and that changing to LED would help reduce back scatter of light.  Cllr Mrs White confirmed that she had also advised the tennis club to make application to WLDC for grant funding.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to agree payment of a grant of £200, to the tennis club, towards provision of LED lighting, at Mulsanne Park For: 5;    Against: 4;   Abstention 1
Action: Clerk to notify Tennis Club award of grant - £200
e) To approve acceptance of the Grant Offer from FCC Communities – Bill Bailey’s Playing Field
It was proposed, seconded and resolved that the Clerk sign the agreement to accept the grant offer from FCC Communities, to the sum of £42,993.57 towards provision of new play equipment at Bill Bailey’s Playing Field and submit. Unanimous
Action: Clerk to sign and return agreement to FCC Communities
139/19.  Planning matters 
a) To receive recommendations or observations on the following planning applications
1)  16 Cherry Tree Lane - Mr & Mrs Nagaraj - 140161. Planning application for two storey side extension, removal of rear section of garage and garage link and new rear facing dormer window, formation of balcony including balustrade.Comments from Planning Liaison Panel - We have concern regarding the impact of privacy of the neighbouring property from the upper side window in the proposed extension to the side of the building as it will be substantially closer to the boundary than at present.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to agree the comments from the Planning Liaison Panel and submit to WLDC  For: 9;   Abstention: 1 (Cllr A Henderson)
2)  90 day consultation for removal of public payphone – Lodge Lane - BT - 140025. No Comments
3)  Deepdale Lane Enterprise Park - Mr D Lui - 140042. Planning application for two and a half storey office building and associated car park. Comments from Planning Liaison Panel - Whilst it is recognised that some changes have subsequently been submitted relating to the landscaping proposals, the Council stands by the comments set out in their earlier strong objection, submitted 17 October 2019.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to agree the comments from the Planning Liaison Panel and submit to WLDC. Unanimous
(b)  Appeals, Consents, Refusals and Withdrawals, Decisions received
 i)    Appeals 
  • Corner Cottage 27 East St - Mr & Mrs Downs – APP/N2535/W/19/3238663 & 4
Appeal related to refusal for Listed building & Planning application for conversion and extension to existing single storey outbuilding to form new accessible bedroom, bathroom & WC
ii)    Consents/Approval of Reserved Matters 
iii)   Refusals
  • Corner Cottage, 27 East St - Mr & Mrs J Downs - 139372 & 139371. Listed building & Planning application for conversion and extension to existing single storey outbuilding to form new accessible bedroom, bathroom & WC – Refused 26/06/19
iv)   Withdrawals- none
v)    Decisions
  • 38 Ashtree Avenue - Miss L Johnstone - 139951. Planning application for single storey rear extension, including internal & external alterations. Application determined 6/11/19 - granted with time limit & conditions
  • 64, Washdyke Lane - Mr & Mrs Thorp - 139982. Planning application for two storey extension to side and single storey rear extension. Application determined 25/10/19 - granted with time limit & conditions
  • 72 Scothern Rd - Miss H Grewcock - 139998. Application for non-material amendment to planning permission 131975 granted 30/9/14. Application determined 7/11/19 - granted without conditions
  • 12 Scothern Road - Mr. Michael Smith - 140015. Planning application for single storey front extension and two storey side and rear extension to include balcony.  Application determined 7/11/19 – granted with time limit & conditions
  • 15 Orchard Way - Mr And Mrs D Davison - 140023. Planning application for single storey hallway extension to front of dwelling and single storey rear extension.  Application determined 3/10/19 - granted with time limit & conditions
  • 4 Field Close - Mr C Hopkins - 140078. Prior approval to extend dwellinghouse 5m from rear wall of original dwellinghouse, 2.475m to height of eaves of enlarged part of dwellinghouse and 4m to highest point of enlarged part of dwellinghouse. Decision 25/10/19 - Prior Approval Not Required
(c) Tree Applications – None
d)  Update on outstanding planning matters
The Chairman advised Council that the Planning Liaison Panel are to meet with the WLDC Planning Officer to discuss the Neighbourhood Plan Review; Caistor Councillors will also be in attendance.  Councillor Mrs White conveyed concerns that reinstatement of the footpath off Deepdale Lane (from the Larkfleet development) remains outstanding.  Bricks and rubble are also evident on the abutting land which the developer was required to retain with the ridge and furrow features, as part of the planning conditions.  Cllr Mrs White to contact WLDC & LCC to report such matters, along with photographic evidence. 
140/19. Property Committee matters 
a) To consider the notes from the Property Committee – 29/10/19. The contents were noted.  
b) To discuss setting a budget allocations to cover costs associated with provision of new allotments
The Chairman advised that:
  • Generally the costs associated with the existing allotment site are recouped, via rents;
  • Council anticipate they will be offered 36 new allotments, by the developer, at the new development site, off Scothern Rd, within the next year.  
  • It is anticipated that existing allotment holders will then move over to the new site;
  • There are likely to be some handover costs associated with the move;
  • Council will arrange consultation with existing allotment holders to discuss the new allotment site coming on stream and with a view to them moving over to the new site.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to increase the allotments routine maintenance budget from £500 to £1000. Unanimous 
c) To agree expenditure of up to £3,300 to undertake burial ground mapping. It was discussed that the existing burial site requires thorough survey and detailed mapping to supplement the existing site diagram.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to agree to undertake burial ground mapping and transfer up to £3,300 from General Reserves to cover this expenditure. Unanimous
Action: Facilities Manager to place a purchase order for the works
d)  To discuss setting a budget allocation for expenditure at new development – Minster Fields
Council were advised that 5 Parish Councillors had attended the recent Minster Fields residents group.  During discussion, it was suggested that a further meeting with residents may be beneficial to establish how the Council can support the group and to recommend they apply to WLDC, for financial support from the Councillor Fund.   It was proposed, seconded and resolved that the Clerk contact the Minster Fields Group to arrange a meeting and Cllrs Mrs Appleton and Siddall be nominated to attend, on behalf of the Parish Council. Unanimous
e)  To agree the new 24 hours premises lettings rate charge
Council were advised that, on occasions local clubs request to hire one of the halls for exclusive use for up to 24 hours to display items for exhibitions, but only open up to the public for part of the day and/or evening. This item had been considered by Property Committee who had recommended that in such circumstances local groups/clubs be charged a maximum of 10 hours, at their standard hire rate, per 24 hour period.  During discussion it was suggested that these types of events enhance village life.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to introduce a 10 hr charge, at standard hire rate, for local clubs/groups requiring exclusive use of a hall for set up/display and opening - for a period up to 24 hrs. Unanimous
At 8.37pm Cllrs Mrs Clayton and Siddall left the meeting room.
f)  To discuss the review/update of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nettleham Village Hall Committee (VHC)
The Chairman provided some background about circumstances associated with the Village Hall (VH) and the MOU:
  • In 2011 the VHC approached the Parish Council (PC) for assistance with replacement of the VH roof and took out a loan to undertake this work;
  • The reason for providing assistance was the PC were concerned, at that time, about the future of the VH and did not want to see it slide into disrepair;
  • An MOU was prepared in 2011 which was signed by the VHC and PC;
  • Since 2011 it was agreed by the VHC that they contribute an equal share, with the PC, into a capital fund, for use towards future capital spending;
  • During 2017/18 additional works were required to the VH car park and drainage - (for reasons of safety for users) and the cost was in excess of £30,000 for completion of these works;
  • In June 2018 the MOU was revised and signed by the parties; 
  • The MOU arrangements have since been challenged over time and following the latest series of challenges submitted, by a resident, the Council engaged an independent legal adviser to undertake a review of the MOU and associated matters.

The Clerk read out some key headline points, from the Solicitors response, recently received, as follows:

  • In all likelihood the PC had not exceeded its responsibilities/powers as custodian trustee by taking responsibility, on a temporary basis, for the maintenance of some areas of the VH;
  • The PC has potential liability in respect of works and repairs that it has carried out and they should check with their insurers that they have appropriate cover.  The Clerk advised that enquiries had already been made with PC insurers and the outcome was awaited;
  • The VHC may have acted outside its powers in allowing additional VHC trustees to be nominated by the PC; (the Clerk advised Council that currently there is only one nominee from the PC in place);
  • A recommendation that the MOU be reviewed (in line with the MOU outlining an annual review);
  • Clarification that Councillors who are also VH Trustees have a prejudicial interest and in line with the PC’s Code of Conduct, they should not participate in discussion or decision making on a matter that could affect the financial position of the VH - and in such circumstances, should also leave the room;
  • The decision to exclude the public, from a meeting of the PC must be taken by a resolution of the Council giving reasons for the publics’ exclusion.
  • The Chairman advised that Councillors are to meet with the VH trustees to discuss review of the content of the MOU and the future relationship between the parties.
g)  To agree expenditure of up to £200 to cover the cost of plant replacement at the Village Hall
The Clerk advised that some of the plants had perished in the VH car park planted areas with a recommendation, from Property Committee that they be replaced as these areas are included in the MOU as a PC responsibility.
At 20.56 it was proposed, seconded and resloved to suspend standing orders to enable Council to hear from residents. Unanimous
Resident 1 asked why the contractor had not been asked to replace the failed plants or by the VHC;
Resident 2 suggested that the plants had failed because the weeds had been allowed to take over and the VHC should be asked to replace them, if they want.
There followed discussion and it was suggested that the plants had been planted in 2018 and may have suffered as a result of the hot dry weather, following planting, and before they were established.
At 21.02 it was proposed, seconded and resolved to resume the meeting of the Parish Council. Unanimous
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to agree the replacement of failed plants at the Village Hall (car park area) with expenditure from General Reserves. Unanimous (by those in attendance – 8 Councillors)
At 21.05 Councillors Mrs Clayton and Siddall returned to the meeting room.  Councillor Henderson also left the meeting room.
141/19. To agree the Proposed Budget for 2020/21
The proposed budget estimates were considered.  There followed discussion that Council had previously agreed to maintain the level of monies held in General Reserve at approximately 20% of the annual budget and it was suggested that some of the excess held in General Reserves, at 31/3/19, be used to keep the estimated precept increase, for 2020/21, at around 5.68%.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to accept the proposed budget of £164,760 for 2021/21, estimated as a precept increase of 5.68% (for a band D property) and submit the estimate to WLDC. Unanimous
Action: Submit estimated precept estimate to WLDC
142/19. To agree Earmarked Reserves for 2020/21
The schedule detailing current balances held in Earmarked Reserves along with the proposed allocations to Earmarked Reserves, from the estimated precept for 2020/21, were discussed.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to accept the proposed allocations to Earmarked Reserves for 2020/21. Unanimous
143/19. To agree rents, hire charges and burial fees for 2020/21
Following review and recommendations from Property Committee, it was proposed, seconded and resolved to accept the rent and hire charge increases for 2020/2. For:  7;   Abstentions:  2;
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to accept the allotment rent and burial charge increases for 2020/21. Unanimous
144/19. To agree to enter Parish Agreement with LCC to undertake urban grass cutting 2020/21
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to accept to enter into the Parish grass cutting agreement, with a payment of the sum of £2,613.24, from LCC. Unanimous
Action: Clerk to sign and return the Parish Agreement to LCC
145/19. To consider the External Auditors interim report – following challenge correspondence from a resident
The Clerk advised that the Council had been notified, by the External Auditors that they had been unable to complete their review on the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2018/19 following challenge correspondence having been received (from a resident) in relation to 2018/19 and/or prior years – which was noted.
146/19. To consider the Internal Auditors report following half-year internal audit 19/20
The Clerk advised that an interim internal audit review, covering the financial period 1/4/19 – 30/9/19 had been carried out.  The Internal Auditors comments, within the report, advised that they; “Have no reservations on issuing this interim statement of satisfaction in respect of the financial accounts and procedures for the financial period 1/4/19 – 30/9/19”.  Following consideration of the comments within the report, a vote of thanks was conveyed, to the Parish Clerk/RFO.
147/19.  Council Matters
a) To agree the Grievance Policy, following review by Personnel & Standards Panel (PSP)
b) To agree the Data Protection Policy, following review by (PSP) 
c) To agree the Data Breach Policy, following review by (PSP)
d) To agree the Members’ Code of Conduct, following review by (PSP)
e) To agree the Publication Scheme, following review by (PSP)
f)  To agree the Communications Policy, following review by (PSP)
It was proposed, seconded and resolved to agree any amendments to the policies (shown as a-f), following review. Unanimous
Action: The Clerk to ensure all staff receive a copy and acknowledge receipt of the amended Grievance Policy. Unanimous 
g)  To consider Kingsway Bank ownership registration
The Clerk advised that following receipt of a notice from the Land Registry, advising that a housing development company has submitted an application for ownership of both banks of a stretch of the beck, at Kingsway, the Parish Council had submitted an objection.  Subsequently the Council had been advised that this application had fell aside.
It was proposed, seconded and resolved that the Parish Council make no further submission, at this time, to the Land Registry. Unanimous
h)  To agree the Council’s calendar of meeting dates for 2020/21
Following discussion, it was proposed, seconded and resolved to agree the Calendar of meeting dates, following the proposed amendment.Unanimous
148/19. Correspondence recieved
The Clerk advised:
  • The Council had been notified, by LCC that a programme of replacement of concrete lighting columns and aged lanterns would take place Dec 19 – Jan 20
149/19. Councillor Reports/Future agenda items
It was requested the following items be included on the next Parish Council meeting agenda:
  • Review of Wi-Fi at The Old School
  • Service Award Nominations
  • Community Speed Watch Update
  • Swathe Update
  • Trees Update 
150/19.  Date of next meeting. The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 10 December 2019 at 7.30pm at the Small Hall, The Old School, Mill Hill, Nettleham.
At 9.58 it was proposed, seconded and resolved to suspend standing orders and extend the meeting for up to 10 minutes to enable discussion about matters on the agenda, under closed session. Unanimous
At 9.58 it was proposed, seconded and resolved to move into closed session and to exclude members of the public. Unanimous
There followed a short interval when all members of the public left the meeting room.
151/19. To resolve whether to move into closed session and exclude the public and press in accordance with the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings Act 1960), due to the sensitive nature of the business to be discussed
a)  To discuss the attainment of the CILCA qualification, by the Clerk
It was proposed, seconded and resolved that the Clerk be moved up the salary scale, by one increment, with effect from 1/10/19, following attainment of the CILCA qualification within one year of appointment, as set out in their contract of employment.Unanimous
b)  To agree appointment to the post of Assistant Clerk
It was proposed, seconded and resolved that Jackie Bourne be formally offered the post of Assistant Clerk commencing 6 January 2020
The meeting closed at 10.05pm